YUSU’s Working Class and Social Mobility Network has started a petition for the University to introduce an academic safety net for third year students.
Kate Archer and Lucy Mason, YUSU’s Working Class and Social Mobility Officers, argue that third year students at the University of York are being faced with a number of challenges at university, including a decline in teaching standards, not enough study space in private halls, and a lack of campus resources.
Archer and Mason say that third years have two years worth of grades to be considered.
As for second years, the officers propose an open forum for any and all students to “discuss potential ideas” for a safety net system for second year students.
Archer and Mason told Vision: “There are 20,000 students at this university, and collectively we can come up with a solution”.
Kate Archer explained this idea came when she asked whether or not a safety net system had been put in place.
She was told that there were issues with the logistics for how a safety net would work for second years, due to the fact that they have no official marks from the university.
“The answer seemed obvious: work out a safety net score system for third years first – they have two year’s worth of grades.”
“In regards to second year students, the answer is a little more complex. But there are 20,000 students at this university, surely there is a bright idea hiding in there somewhere.
“Coming together in an open forum, with the YUSU Academic Officer there for guidance, to discuss ideas seems to be the most ideal, collective way of getting things done.
“If the University is truly committed to helping students, both academically and with their mental health, implementing a safety net system should be imperative.
“Third year students should not have to progress through the end of their degree in the darkness – the university should be there for them in the way they claim.”
Archer also mentioned another obstacle in the way of safety net implementation.
During a YuSuggestions meeting on 23 November, when the topic of safety nets arose, YUSU President Patrick O’Donnell said that: “universities across the country are in talks, but no one wants to be the first to put theirs out first.”
However, Archer’s response to this is plain and simple: “Why wouldn’t you want to be the university that did it first, in the same way Exeter University was back in the summer?”